History Main / MelismaticVocals

10th Jun '17 11:12:41 AM nombretomado
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** [[Creator/WolfgangAmadeusMozart Mozart]] was very fond of melismatic lines in his operas, usually given to the soprano but on occasion to the tenor (eg originally in ''Idomeneo, Re di Creta'') or bass (''The Abduction from the Seraglio''). The more famous examples include:

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** [[Creator/WolfgangAmadeusMozart [[Music/WolfgangAmadeusMozart Mozart]] was very fond of melismatic lines in his operas, usually given to the soprano but on occasion to the tenor (eg originally in ''Idomeneo, Re di Creta'') or bass (''The Abduction from the Seraglio''). The more famous examples include:
27th Apr '17 11:28:54 AM PillarGeneral8
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*** The Berceuse she sings while healing Gérald [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYeeOZcAJDo Sous le ciel tout étoilé]] also contains such vocals.

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*** The Berceuse she sings while healing Gérald Gérald, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYeeOZcAJDo Sous le ciel tout étoilé]] étoilé]], also contains such vocals.
27th Apr '17 11:27:54 AM PillarGeneral8
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** Delibes ''Lakmé'' has some famous pieces for its titular character, who is always sung by a coloratura soprano.
*** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPRwjLwRFhQ L'Air des Clochettes]], also known as the Bell Song is a favourite recital song for coloratura sopranos.
*** Her death aria [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66RVd5NIKYs Tu m'as donné le plus doux rêve]] has several notes like this.
*** The Berceuse she sings while healing Gérald [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYeeOZcAJDo Sous le ciel tout étoilé]] also contains such vocals.
3rd Mar '17 12:12:26 PM JamesAustin
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->''And, inevitably, there is the Soulful Syllable Stretch. The Soulful Syllable Stretch involves elongating words with flashy arpeggios and trills: "love" becomes "lo-oh-ho-HEY-ah-ho-HO-ho-hoooooooOOOOOOOOVE!" A Soulful Syllable Stretch Grand Mistress, such as Music/{{Beyonce}} Knowles of Music/DestinysChild, can make one word last a week. Keys alternates Soulful Syllable Stretches with pregnant pauses. How Come You Don't Call Me? is so rife with the latter, you suspect the involvement of Creator/HaroldPinter.''

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->''And, ->''"And, inevitably, there is the Soulful Syllable Stretch. The Soulful Syllable Stretch involves elongating words with flashy arpeggios and trills: "love" becomes "lo-oh-ho-HEY-ah-ho-HO-ho-hoooooooOOOOOOOOVE!" A Soulful Syllable Stretch Grand Mistress, such as Music/{{Beyonce}} Knowles of Music/DestinysChild, can make one word last a week. Keys alternates Soulful Syllable Stretches with pregnant pauses. How Come You Don't Call Me? is so rife with the latter, you suspect the involvement of Creator/HaroldPinter.''"''



* 1930s musical star Jeanette [=MacDonald=] does this in ''Film/SanFrancisco'', especially when belting out the TitleThemeTune during her big number near the end. "Sa-a-a-a-a-n Francisco, open your golden gate..."

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* 1930s musical star Jeanette [=MacDonald=] does this in ''Film/SanFrancisco'', ''Film/{{San Francisco|1936}}'', especially when belting out the TitleThemeTune during her big number near the end. "Sa-a-a-a-a-n Francisco, open your golden gate..."
28th Feb '17 10:53:20 AM jamespolk
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Added DiffLines:

* 1930s musical star Jeanette [=MacDonald=] does this in ''Film/SanFrancisco'', especially when belting out the TitleThemeTune during her big number near the end. "Sa-a-a-a-a-n Francisco, open your golden gate..."
7th Feb '17 5:16:29 AM Toshiaki
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* Japanese-born German yodeler Music/TakeoIschi belted out some pretty impressive vowel extension in his new song ''Chicken Attack''.
20th Nov '16 8:36:47 AM Prfnoff
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* Music/BenjaminBritten's operas have melismas all over the place, especially in the parts written for Peter Pears (who had a talent for them). In ''Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew'', Peter Quint's repeated melismatic calls of "Miles!" are an important {{Leitmotif}}.
18th Oct '16 2:34:18 AM AgProv
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Melisma migrated over to pop music at some indistinct point (credit for popularising it varies between Music/StevieWonder, Music/MariahCarey or some others), and now it's pretty common in R&B or R&B-influenced pop music. Remember Music/WhitneyHouston's "I Will Always Love You"? That's melisma.[[note]]Though to be fair, Music/DollyParton did it in the original version, too, though not nearly as much.[[/note]] It's easy to see why it ended up in pop music: used properly it can have a great effect. The only problem is that there have been many singers recently who just blindly abuse it to lend their songs some sort of "soulfulness" or whatever, and it just becomes annoying, as demonstrated by the above quote. A frequent way to deride these singers is to note that they take simple words like "yeah", "I" or "whoa" and stretch it to something like [[MemeticMutation over 9000]] syllables. But the real problem is that some artists don't have the skill or vocal range to actually pull it off.

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Melisma migrated over to pop music at some indistinct point (credit (credit[[note]]or blame[[/note]] for popularising it varies between Music/StevieWonder, Music/MariahCarey or some others), and now it's pretty common in R&B or R&B-influenced pop music. Remember Music/WhitneyHouston's "I Will Always Love You"? That's melisma.[[note]]Though to be fair, Music/DollyParton did it in the original version, too, though not nearly as much.[[/note]] It's easy to see why it ended up in pop music: used properly it can have a great effect. The only problem is that there have been many singers recently who just blindly abuse it to lend their songs some sort of "soulfulness" or whatever, and it just becomes annoying, as demonstrated by the above quote. A frequent way to deride these singers is to note that they take simple words like "yeah", "I" or "whoa" and stretch it to something like [[MemeticMutation over 9000]] syllables. But the real problem is that some artists don't have the skill or vocal range to actually pull it off.
9th May '16 3:07:38 PM bt8257
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-->'''Alexis Petridis''' [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2002/oct/25/artsfeatures.popandrock1 reviewing]] an AliciaKeys concert.

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-->'''Alexis Petridis''' [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2002/oct/25/artsfeatures.popandrock1 reviewing]] an AliciaKeys Music/AliciaKeys concert.
24th Apr '16 11:06:12 AM MasterofGalaxies4628
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Some singers who practise melisma also often sing {{Incredibly Long Note}}s, such as WhitneyHouston. However, another criticism levelled at melisma is that singers who ''can't'' pull off Incredibly Long Notes sometimes use the technique to give the illusion that they are doing so; stretching the syllable out without having to actually hold a particular note for very long.

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Some singers who practise melisma also often sing {{Incredibly Long Note}}s, such as WhitneyHouston. However, another criticism levelled leveled at melisma is that singers who ''can't'' pull off Incredibly Long Notes sometimes use the technique to give the illusion that they are doing so; stretching the syllable out without having to actually hold a particular note for very long.



* Edward Shippen Barnes gave us the most famous arrangement of the Christmas hymn "Angels We Have Heard On High", which features a 16-note melisma in its chorus that, while far from the most impressive example on this page, is probably the most well-known example of a melisma going beyond what most people would consider average.
-->''Glo-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-ri-a in Ex-cel-sis De-o!''
* George Ratcliffe Woodward's arrangement of "Ding Dong Merrily on High" ups the ante by featuring a 31-note melisma in its chorus (also involving "Gloria").



** Handel was pretty fond of melismas in general--the rest of the ''Messiah'' alone is full of examples.

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** Handel was pretty fond of melismas melisma in general--the rest of the ''Messiah'' alone is full of examples.



*** The seventh movement of the cantata ''Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut'' (BWV 113) is infamous for its abuse of melismas. In fact, it is considered almost unperformable due to the excessively long melismas.

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*** The seventh movement of the cantata ''Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut'' (BWV 113) is infamous for its abuse of melismas. melisma. In fact, it is considered almost unperformable due to the melisma instances being excessively long melismas.long.



* Edward Shippen Barnes, the person responsible for the most famous arrangement of the Christmas hymn "Angels We Have Heard On High".
-->''Glo-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-O-ri-a in Ex-cel-sis De-o!''



* Religious music was AMAZINGLY GOOD AT THIS. In a piece intended to be sung at Christmas Mass from the 1300s, 10 minutes were needed to sing two sentences due to the massive amounts of melisma.

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* Religious music was AMAZINGLY GOOD AT THIS.''amazingly good at this''. In a piece intended to be sung at Christmas Mass from the 1300s, 10 minutes were needed to sing two sentences due to the massive amounts of melisma.
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